Wednesday – once again, I spent the day in meetings, with Miriam and the kids hit the park. The plan for the day was to focus on Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, and Liberty Square. There would be plenty of time to hit Adventureland and Frontierland another day. I’d given Miriam a detailed touring plan for the day, but it was thrown off almost immediately with the discovery that – despite her pre-trip claims to the contrary – Mikaela DID want to meet characters after all. Luckily, crowd levels were so low that the addition of character lines didn’t cause any real problems. Miriam and the kids got to enjoy several Fantasyland attractions that were either closed or had added new features since last October’s trip – they rode It’s a Small World for the first time (unprompted, Miriam texted me from the ride that we should have brought prisoners there, instead of to Guantanamo); rode Mad Tea Party for the first time; and the kids enjoyed playing in “Winnie the Queue.”

Those extra rides extended the morning a bit – by the time they boarded the bus the head back to All-Star Music, Jonathan definitely needed the break! I met back up with the rest of the family at the Magic Kingdom at around 6:00 p.m. I got there just as they were nearing the front of the line for Mikaela to meet the princesses at the Town Square Theater. As is his approach with all characters (except for Stitch), Jonathan maintained a wary distance.

We had dinner at Columbia Harbor House, and Miriam and I each tried one of the new entrees on the CHH menu. I had the lobster roll. For counter-service food, it was good, but not great. It was a bit under seasoned and a bit heavy on the mayo. But there was a surprisingly generous amount of lobster in the sandwich. Miriam had the grilled salmon, couscous and broccoli, and it was fantastic! It was as good a meal as any grilled salmon I’ve had in a sit-down restaurant – just a simple dish, done well. After dinner, we started our touring with Haunted Mansion. It was Jon’s first time on it, and I was concerned he’d get panicky on it. As we passed through the room with the eyes staring at you out of the dark, I asked him, “is it spooky?” To which he responded, “Not yet.” At the dancing ghosts, he turns to me and says, “Cool, but they’re just holograms.”

We worked our way back around to Tomorrowland, our favorite place to be in the Magic Kingdom at night. We figured we’d skip the parade (we’d be back) and take advantage of the time for a few more rides. I rode with the kids on Space Mountain, we all rode Buzz Lightyear and caught the Laugh Floor show. By the time we started for the Tomorrowland bridge, the crowd had gotten pretty thick. We were pretty well “stuck” on the bridge, so we figured we try Wishes from the bridge for the first time. But before Wishes, we watched “The Magic, the Memories, and You” show. All I can say is – WOW! I’d heard the show described. I’d even seen some pictures and video of the show. But they just don’t do it justice. The projection show is a marvel of technology and a mesmerizing display. I took a few pictures – they’re in my Gallery – but none of them do it justice. We stayed there on the Tomorrowland bridge and watched Wishes as well. It was an interesting perspective, but I’ve got to say, it’s worth the time and effort to secure a viewing spot on Main Street. The fireworks are a completely different show with the castle in the foreground.

We got back to All-Star Music pretty late, but I promised the kids we could get ice cream before bed. It’s not something we would have done under any other circumstance. But whenever these sorts of situations come up while we’re on a Disney vacation now, I think about the Concierge Lounge CM at the Poly last October. Jonathan was getting a bit out of control. He wanted something, and Miriam had that look in her eyes of, “I really don’t want to give him this, but I also don’t want to deal with this meltdown.” The CM gave Miriam a kindly smile and just said, “Ma’am, you’re at Disney World.” And that’s what ice cream at 10:30 p.m. is. It’s a, “Ma’am, you’re at Disney World” moment.

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